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Jewish Journal

Ryan Torok

  • Moving and shaking: StandWithUs, Chanukah in Los Angeles and Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback

    3 days ago

    Stephen Wise Temple has named Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback as its next senior rabbi.

    The senior rabbi-elect, who is currently the head of Wise School, the synagogue’s day school for kindergarten through sixth grade and early childhood center, succeeds Rabbi Eli Herscher, according to a...

  • Freed prisoner Alan Gross loves Judaism

    3 days ago

    Alan Gross was freed from a Cuban prison on Wednesday after five years, much of that time in isolation. His release was part of a prisoner exchange deal between Cuba and the United States that President Barack Obama announced marks the start of improved relations between the two...

  • It’s a spicy MatzoBall!

    3 days ago

    Jewish Angelenos looking for something to do on Christmas Eve need look no further than a singles party that has become a national sensation — the MatzoBall.

    Returning to Los Angeles for the first time in years, the event will take place in Hollywood at the historic Avalon on...

  • Teaching the value of giving in the season of getting

    1 week ago

    The gift-giving tradition that these days is so strongly connected with Chanukah can be a mixed blessing. Often, preceding the joy of hitting the right note with a gift are days fraught with the pressure to find it. There’s also the question of how much to spend, and what kinds of...
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  • Moving and shaking: Characters Unite, MATT construction and more

    1 week ago

    The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Board of Governors gala on Dec. 2 honored David and Janet Polak, who support numerous Jewish and Israeli causes. The couple received the Cedars-Sinai Philanthropic Leadership Award.
     
    The event at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills...
  • JWT’s ‘Not That Jewish’ offers the group’s latest fresh, female voice

    1 week ago

    “Not That Jewish,” an autobiographical one-woman show with comedian Monica Piper, recalls Billy Crystal’s similarly heartfelt “700 Sundays.” Both are monologue performances by Jewish comics who grew up in show-biz-oriented families in Brooklyn, where weekends were spent at the...

  • California-Israeli companies form stem cell research agreement

    2 weeks ago

    California-Israel partnerships related to stem cell research are on the horizon after an agreement signed Dec. 9 between the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Israel’s Center for Research and Development, MATIMOP.

    Israel Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel...

  • Moving and Shaking: LAMOTH recital, Fiesta Shalom at Sea and Thanksgiving

    2 weeks ago

    The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) inaugural Young Pianist Showcase Recital took place Nov. 23 at the museum.

    The event featured performances by Jacqueline Wax, 17, a senior at Milken Community Schools; Jonah Goldberg, 14, a freshman at Calabasas High School; Adam...

  • Gene Simmons: Rock god turned business tycoon

    2 weeks ago

    Gene Simmons has made a career out of doing a lot with a little. 

    His band, KISS, featured members with little or no formal musical training but went on to become one of the nation’s biggest rock acts. Growing up in Haifa, he sold cactus fruit to workers at a local bus stop to...

  • Moving and shaking: Zimmer Children’s Museum, NCJWLA thrift shops and more

    November 25, 2014 | 2:22 pm

    Local community leaders named to the annual Jewish Daily Forward 50 include Israeli-American Council Chairman Shawn Evenhaim; Rabbi Eliyahu Fink of Pacific Jewish Center in Venice; Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) and Micah Wexler of Wexler’s Deli.

    Steven Sotloff, an...

  • Nope, Justin Bieber did not visit a L.A. rabbi on Wednesday

    November 20, 2014 | 4:48 pm

    Pop star Justin Bieber did not visit with a rabbi at the Westside Jewish Communtiy Center (JCC) yesterday despite media reports to the contrary.

    “He met with no rabbi. He came, enjoyed playing [table tennis], he does stuff here; it’s not the first time he’s come,” Brian Greene,...

  • Moving and shaking: L.A. Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, Beth Chayim Chadashim and more

    November 20, 2014 | 10:55 am

    Israeli Sephardic actor Yehoram Gaon, Los Angeles attorney Ronald J. Nessim, and philanthropic couple Joelle and Jack Rimokh were the honorees at the opening gala of the Los Angeles Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, taking home the Cinema Sepharad Lifetime Achievement Award, the...

  • L.A.’s Jews and Muslims partner in ‘twinning’ events

    November 19, 2014 | 1:17 pm

    When Jews and Muslims came together for a “twinning” event on Nov. 16, the Pico Union Project was filled with jamming, rapping, rhetoric, dancing and more.

    “It’s the only way we will ever find peace — through the arts and dialogue. So this is a really good start,” Genie Benson,...

  • Moving and shaking: FIDF Gala, Texas Hold’em Poker Classic, Our House and more

    November 13, 2014 | 11:00 am

    Hollywood A-listers Barbra Streisand, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Pamela Anderson were among those who attended the eighth annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region Gala on Nov. 6; the event raised an unprecedented $33 million to fund the...

  • ASA conference revisits the boycott of Israeli institutions

    November 12, 2014 | 1:34 pm

    Nancy Koppelman, an American Studies professor at The Evergreen State College in Washington, is well aware of how passionate things can get on college campuses over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The late pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by an...

  • Moving and shaking: American Technion Society, Jewish Educator Awards, LAMOTH and more

    November 6, 2014 | 10:49 am

    Audience members at the American Technion Society’s (ATS) “An Evening of Innovation and Inspiration” were presented with a moving sight on Oct. 29 as U.S. Marines Capt. Derek Herrera walked across the Museum of Tolerance stage wearing an Israeli-designed-and-built ReWalk robotic...

  • Idan Raichel: Music with meaning

    November 5, 2014 | 1:22 pm

    For Israeli superstar Idan Raichel, sometimes it’s not the musical notes that matter most; it’s what happens in between.

    Such is the case when a Jewish singer-songwriter teams up with a Muslim guitarist — in this case, Vieux Farka Touré, from the West African country of Mali.

    ...
  • New Jew name changes to de Toledo High School

    November 5, 2014 | 12:21 pm

    New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) in West Hills soon will be changing its name to de Toledo High School in honor of what one official is calling a “transformative” gift.

    The decision by the school’s board of trustees was made Oct. 22, following a recent donation — the size...

  • Mikvah Society of L.A. assures users it is ‘safe and secure’ following voyeurism scandal in D.C.

    November 4, 2014 | 2:16 pm

    The scandal surrounding the Washington D.C. rabbi who was arrested and charged for allegedly secretly filming women while they were using a mikveh dressing room has prompted assurances from the Mikvah Society of Los Angeles that its own mikveh “continues to be a safe and secure...

  • Carr Super Pac tries to draw connection between Lieu and Hamas

    October 30, 2014 | 4:20 pm

    The race to represent the 33rd California District in the United States House of Representatives took a nasty turn recently.

    Residents in the district have received mailers claiming that Democratic candidate Ted Lieu is sympathetic to the Palestinian terror group Hamas. The...

  • Moving and shaking: American Friends of Magen David Adom, Breed Street Shul and more

    October 30, 2014 | 9:58 am

    It was the emotional highlight of the night — in fact, it would have been the emotional highlight of any night. During American Friends of Magen David Adom’s (AFMDA) star-studded Red Star Ball on Oct. 23, two victims of Hamas rocket attacks were reunited with the Magen David Adom...

  • Carr vs. Lieu: The Democrat and Republican vying to claim Waxman’s legacy

    October 29, 2014 | 4:31 pm

    “Do you support boots-on-the-ground in Iraq?” 

    KPCC talk-show host Larry Mantle asked this question of Republican Elan Carr and Democrat Ted Lieu, opponents in the race to succeed longtime U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman in California’s 33rd Congressional District, a heavily Jewish region...

  • Bet Tzedek names Jessie Kornberg new CEO

    October 28, 2014 | 3:58 pm

    About two years ago, Jessie Kornberg was litigating a trial for the law firm Bird Marella, and when it ended, all the attorneys were waiting to speak candidly with jurors about what they thought the lawyers did well and what they didn’t do well. Eight months pregnant, Kornberg...

  • Moving and shaking: A fabulous night, Sunday shvitz and Andrew Hoffer

    October 23, 2014 | 1:20 pm

    Beverly Hills real estate magnate Stanley Black and Temple of the Arts Rabbi David Baron were honored on Oct. 12 during “A Fabulous Night” at the Saban Theatre. 

    The event featured comedian Rita Rudner and Beatles tribute band The Fab Four in concert while also spotlighting the...

  • L.A. Rabbis seeking to reassure mikveh users of facilities’ privacy

    October 23, 2014 | 12:22 pm

    In the wake of a scandal in which a Washington, D.C., Modern Orthodox rabbi was arrested for allegedly spying on women undressing before immersing in a mikveh connected to his synagogue, Los Angeles-area rabbis are calling the situation a “unique case” and taking steps to put the...

  • Back to school, sort of: Shalhevet students start their year under unorthodox conditions

    October 20, 2014 | 11:40 am

    Chaos has brought community to the Westside Jewish Community Center (JCC), where Shalhevet High School is operating for its 2014-2015 school year as construction proceeds on its actual campus.

    Rabbi Ari Schwarzberg, a Shalhevet Judaic studies teacher, dryly remarked that sharing...

  • L.A. rabbi says mikveh at AJU is secure, calls Freundel scandal a ‘unique case’

    October 16, 2014 | 11:14 am

    In the wake of a scandal in which a Washington, D.C. Orthodox rabbi was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 14, for allegedly spying on women undressing at a mikveh connected to his synagogue, Rabbi Richard A. Flom, a Los Angeles authority on the mikveh [ritual bathhouse] and a member of the...

  • Moving and shaking: Doc Rivers, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the ADL

    October 15, 2014 | 9:46 am

    “The city rests on a foundation of public safety,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the fourth annual Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) Los Angeles dinner honoring both the mayor and businessman Mitch Julis on Oct. 2 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  

    HSAC is a...

  • Reporting anti-Semitism: There’s an app for that

    October 14, 2014 | 2:53 pm

    Campus hate has a new enemy that fits in the pocket of your pants. 

    CombatHateU, a new smartphone app for Apple iOS and Android developed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, is intended to allow Jewish college students to immediately report and confront anti-Semitism. 

    The app aims...

  • Congressional and Senate candidates debate at University Synagogue

    October 14, 2014 | 1:14 pm

    University Synagogue was the host Oct. 12 for debates in two races for the Nov. 4 election — one between Elan Carr and Ted Lieu, running for the 33rd Congressional District seat, and another between Sandra Fluke and Ben Allen, who are vying for the California 26th state Senate...

  • A Yom Kippur forum on anti-Semitism

    October 14, 2014 | 11:36 am

    Is the recent uptick in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe due, in part, to the distance in time from the Holocaust and a fading memory of the 6 million Jews who perished in it? 

    This was among the topics of a panel discussion titled “Anti-Semitism in Europe: Crisis or Challenge?”...

  • Moving and shaking: From AmeriCorps to the One Wish Project

    October 7, 2014 | 3:33 pm

    The Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles (VPC) honored Union Bank; ABC Family’s “The Fosters”; and Patti Giggans, executive director of nonprofit Peace Over Violence; during its Angel of Peace Awards on Sept. 30.

    The event, which took place at the LA Plaza de...

  • Moving and shaking: Tour de Summer Camps, Woman to Woman Conference and more

    October 1, 2014 | 12:28 pm

    The moon was still visible at 5 a.m. on Sept. 21 as cyclists registered at Camp Alonim in Simi Valley for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ second annual Tour de Summer Camps.

    More than 450 cyclists participated in the event, including Jay Sanderson, Federation...

  • Moving and shaking: JCFLA’s Marvin Schotland honored, SOLA celebrates

    September 24, 2014 | 1:17 pm

    The most moving part of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles’ (JCFLA) 60th-anniversary celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills Sept. 19 had to be when CEO Marvin Schotland’s father, Lou Schotland, sang to his son.

    The event honored Marvin for his 25 years...

  • Elliot Brandt named AIPAC-national managing director

    September 23, 2014 | 5:04 pm

    Elliot Brandt, 45, the Western States director for AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee ) since 2002, will become managing director at the pro-Israel organization’s Washington D.C headquarters.

    Brandt’s promotion to the organization’s national staff becomes effective...

  • Will the summer of war affect High Holy Days sermons?

    September 23, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    Every year, synagogue rabbis face the often-daunting task of coming up with compelling High Holy Days sermons.

    This summer’s 50-day Israel-Gaza conflict, during which 66 Israeli soldiers and six Israeli civilians were killed, and more than 2,100 Palestinians died, could make this...

  • Moving and shaking

    September 18, 2014 | 11:26 am

    Friendship Circle of Los Angeles celebrated its annual Walk 4 Friendship LA at Rancho Park on Sept. 14. Under a scorching sun, with highs in the mid-90s, completing the 3K was a definite feat for the more than 400 participating families.

    Instead of a foghorn, Friendship Circle...

  • Moving and shaking

    September 10, 2014 | 3:01 pm

    The beach-adjacent intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset Boulevard was a festive atmosphere of Chabadniks and their supporters on Sept. 7, when Chabad of Pacific Palisades marked the launch of a major fundraising campaign.

    The goal of the first phase of the effort,...

  • ADL briefs groups on online security

    September 10, 2014 | 2:50 pm

    With the cyber era comes cyber threats. 

    That’s why the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) used its annual pre-High Holy Days security briefing to bring together more than 30 people from local synagogues and Jewish organizations to listen to law enforcement leaders and ADL leaders...

  • Married couples’ contract ensures they can divorce fairly

    September 10, 2014 | 2:28 pm

    "I don’t get a rose until I sign,” Esther Macner said, as she and her husband, Chaim Plotzker, sat with a notary and reviewed a two-page postnuptial agreement document that set rules for them in the event of a future divorce.

    Macner and Plotzker were among the 82 couples who...

  • Bullets and Bagels: The Jewish shooting club

    September 10, 2014 | 1:55 pm

    "Ready, Aim, Schmear.” 

    That was the banner hanging in the lobby of Orange County indoor shooting range FT3 Tactical, as members of Bullets and Bagels, a Jewish shooting club, turned out to try firing automatic Colt pistols, semi-automatic rifles and an assortment of other...

  • Ms. Senior California Pageant: Where age is beauty

    September 10, 2014 | 11:46 am

    There was hardly anyone left in the audience at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster, as the 14 contestants of Ms. Senior California 2014 stood in a long line on the stage and posed for photographs. 

    Sandra Erkus, 80, a Granada Hills resident and member of Temple Ahavat Shalom...

  • Ryan Kavanaugh, Relativity Media CEO, donates to four pro-Israel organizations

    September 3, 2014 | 4:03 pm

    Ryan Kavanaugh, the 39-year-old CEO and founder of Relativity Media, is, to borrow the cliché, putting his money where his mouth is.

    On the heels of an Aug. 13 op-ed in the "Hollywood Reporter", in which he expressed support for the Jewish state while Israel was waging war with...

  • Moving and shaking

    September 3, 2014 | 2:02 pm

    More than 1,000 people attended the fourth annual Shabbat at the Ford with Craig Taubman and the Pico Union Project on Aug. 29. 

    Rabbis, cantors, pastors, guitarists, back-up singers, a choir and even a sign-language interpreter participated. The event kicked off at 6 p.m. with...

  • Chabad Telethon: 50 years of Chasidic movement on West Coast

    September 3, 2014 | 12:49 pm

    When Chabad holds its 34th annual “To Life” telethon on Sept. 7, it also will mark 50 years since the movement launched its operations on the West Coast.

    Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, the prolific West Coast Chabad leader who turns 74 on Sept. 17, expressed enthusiasm about Chabad’s...

  • Esther Macner: Agunah advocate promotes post-nuptials

    September 3, 2014 | 12:40 pm

    At 62, Esther Macner radiates feistiness and confidence. 

    During a recent interview at the Journal’s headquarters, she described herself as an “Orthodox Jewish feminist, which I’ve been all my life, before the word became a label.” 

    A former prosecutor and trial attorney in New...

  • David Getman, a 2010 Milken graduate, dies in San Francisco collision

    August 29, 2014 | 3:26 pm

    A funeral service for David Getman, 22, a 2010 Milken Community Schools graduate who was killed in a traffic accident in San Francisco earlier this week, will be held at 3 p.m. on Aug. 31 at Hillside Memorial Park.

    Shiva information is not yet available, according to a Milken...

  • Synagogue parodies Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”

    August 27, 2014 | 4:01 pm

    What would Pharrell Williams think?

    Temple Judea, a large Reform shul in the San Fernando Valley, has parodied the singer’s hit song, “Happy,” in a new web video.

    The four-minute video features singing, dancing and great sportsmanship by the temple's clergy, staff and others....

  • Moving and shaking

    August 27, 2014 | 12:55 pm

    Dikla Kadosh has been appointed to the top leadership position of the Los Angeles chapter of the Israeli-American Council (IAC). Effective Aug. 25, Kadosh will succeed the IAC’s new national CEO, Sagi Balasha, as the L.A. regional director.

    The IAC, a national organization with...

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